Support the African Scholars Program Scholarship Fund!

The African Scholars Program is preparing for its second exchange trip to Senegal and The Gambia in February 2015.  An energetic cohort of students has been preparing for the trip since December 2013 by attending biweekly evening classes and conducting fundraisers for the program’s scholarship fund.  The African Scholars Program is committed to making the exchange experience accessible to all students, regardless of income.  If you would like to help support a student participate in this life-changing cultural exchange, please consider making a contribution to the African Scholars Program scholarship fund.

Please make your check payable to Amherst Regional High School, with African Scholars Program on the subject line, and mail it to this address:

African Scholars Program
Attention: Kathy Wilkes
Amherst Regional High School
Amherst, MA 01002

If you have questions, please e-mail  Thank you for your support of our African Scholars!

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Bookfair to Benefit African Scholars Program at Barnes and Noble June 7

SAVE THE DATE! The ARHS African Scholars Program will hold a bookfair on Saturday, June 7, from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Barnes & Noble store in Hadley. The event is a fundraiser for the group’s exchange program with schools in West Africa. Proceeds will go to the program’s scholarship fund, which assists students whose families cannot afford the full cost of the exchange trip.

The bookfair will include a series of Africa-related events throughout the day:

10:00     Children’s stories
10:30     Printmaking workshop
12:00     Scavenger hunt
1:00     Children’s stories
1:30     Friendship bracelet workshop
2:00     African cooking demonstration
3:00     African geography game

All day events:

  • African art display
  • Free ataya (strong, sweet hot tea)
  • Africa-themed books to browse

Up to 20% of all sales at Barnes & Noble that day will be donated to the African Scholars Program if patrons identify themselves as bookfair participants. Please come and support this worthy cultural exchange program!

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Liven Up Your March Madness Menu with West African Take-out!

Liven up your March Madness menu with some savory dishes from West Africa!  Order delicious TAKE-OUT MEALS from the ARHS


Meals (in microwavable containers) will be available for pick-up on Thursday, March 27, 3-5 p.m., at Amherst Regional High School

 The Menu

thiouVegetarian Thiou

Chunky vegetable stew in a savory sauce, served with jasmine rice


Chicken Yassachicken yassa

Chicken cooked with onions, olives, and lime served with jasmine rice and vegetables



Proceeds benefit the African Scholars Program scholarship fund, which assists students who are working to participate in ARHS’s exchange program with schools in Senegal and The Gambia.

Download the order form: West African Take-out

Questions?  Call or text 413-687-0910 or e-mail

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African Scholars Program Exchange Trip – February 2013

The long-awaited African Scholars Program exchange trip to Senegal and The Gambia has happened!  A group of seven students and three advisors left ARHS on February 5 and returned on February 25.  They shared their experiences and research projects with the community in the ARHS library on April 3. The photo below shows the exchange group with their Senegalese hosts. To read an article about the trip from the Daily Hampshire Gazette, click here.

indoor group photo

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Back in Dakar

After a wonderful week in The Gambia, the African scholars have made a two-day journey back to Dakar, stopping on the way to visit Juffureh (site of Alex Haley’s Roots), Joal-Fadiouth (a majority Christian village built on a man-made shell island), and the Bandia Nature Reserve (home to rhinos, giraffes, zebras, and many other interesting animals).  Students are back with their Senegalese host families.  We have one more outing tomorrow, then fly home late, late Sunday night, returning to Amherst midday Monday.

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Digging into The Gambia Experience

DSC00832We arrived in Gunjur, The Gambia, late Tuesday night, and spent the day Wednesday touring the village, having lunch at Momodou Sarr’s family compound, and getting to know host families.  Today, Thursday, we visited Sifoe Senior Secondary School and attended a variety of classes. At the end of the day, each member of the group planted a lime tree on the school grounds as part of the agriculture program.

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Experiencing Dakar

DSC00639This picture was taken at the Parc Zoologique, near our partner school in Dakar, Cour Sainte Marie de Hann.  We all saw some real lions and many other African animals there.

The students are really enjoying their hosts and visiting classes in the school.  Today they made a presentation about Amherst to two large groups of students, and the students asked lots of questions about our school and America.

DSC00689While sampling authentic Senegalese cuisine at a restaurant in downtown Dakar, we were treated to a performance by a griot on the kora.  He sang about each person by name, a great honor for us.  It was a great experience, as was the food (even though some of us were a bit squeamish about fish being served with the head and tail still attached).  Vegetarianism is bit of a mystery to most people here, but we’re managing to accommodate everyone’s diet.

Tomorrow we leave for The Gambia for an eight-day stay there – we will be in a village, not a big city, so the experience will be quite different.

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Ready for Departure at JFK


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Thanks for Your Support of the African Scholars Program!

Fudraising Progress

Thank you for helping us make the exchange program a reality!

African Scholars Program teachers, students, and parents have been conducting a variety of fundraisers to support the exchange trip to Senegal and The Gambia in 2013.  The goal was to provide a total of $10,000 in partial scholarships to students whose families could not otherwise afford $3,500-per-student cost and to subsidize other aspects of  the trip. The chart at the right shows how much we have raised.  We wish to thank the Amherst community for supporting our efforts.

Here are some of the projects we have been working on:mug and bookmark

  • Sale of African Scholars Program mugs.
  • African lunches for ARHS staff, courtesy of David Jean and the Culinary Arts program.
  • Grant applications to local and regional organizations.
  • An African Dinner and Film Night on March 15, 2012.
  • Sale of green products from Koru Fundraising.
  • Another African Dinner and program on June 14, 2012, and yet another dinner on January 17, 2013!

In addition to these efforts, students have organized their own fundraisers at school to provide school supplies for needy students at our host schools.

The African Scholars Program will host a community event in the spring of 2013 to share research projects and photos from the exchange trip.  We hope you will join us for this celebration!  Thank you again for your support of the program.

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Information Session PowerPoint

Click on the link below to see the PowerPoint slides presented at the student/parent meeting on November 1.



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